Should we believe Steven Soderbergh when he talks about making no more movies? We’ve been down this road before, and so far, he shows no signs of stopping. But if Side Effects truly is his swan song, it looks like he’s going out with his head held high.
Emily and Martin (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum) are a successful New York couple, notwithstanding Martin’s recent stint in prison for insider trading. Soon after, Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law) prescribes a new drug to treat anxiety but the unexpected side effects come to the fore.
Also coming to the fore: pretty much rave reviews. Variety notes that this “elegantly coiled puzzler spins a tale of clinical depression and psychiatric malpractice into an absorbing, cunningly unpredictable entertainment.” New York magazine is also dubious about whether this is the last we’ll see of the prolific director, opening its review by stating, “If Side Effects is truly Steven Soderbergh’s farewell to theatrical filmmaking, he’s going out in sly fashion, juggling tropes from his other movies, playing games with your head based on what you think you know about him. He’s on top of his material in a way he has rarely been in the last decade.” But The Hollywood Reporter isn’t nearly as smitten, with the opinion that by “trying to merge this alarmist theme with an old-fashioned murder mystery, the filmmakers throw at least one plot-twist sucker-punch too many, leaving the viewer with an “Oh, come on” reaction to the entire film.”
NewsFeed’s Flicks Pick: Not even a contest. Side Effects packs a much greater punch. Don’t let your weekend be stolen by Identity Thief.